What can I tell you about Ghostbusters that hasn’t already been said? That it was supposed to have Belushi and Eddie Murphy in it? That it was based on Dan Aykroyd’s father, who wrote the book A History of Ghosts? That the original script wasn’t a comedy?
We know all that. What we sometimes forget is that Ghostbusters does something astounding for a film. None of the main characters make the hero’s journey. None of them.
At the beginning and the end, Ray Stantz (Aykroyd) is still an incredibly smart but simple-minded scientist that at least had a ghost practice the fleshy clarinet for him. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) is still a super-smart geek, albeit one with a super-smart geek girl now (Annie Potts, who makes the most of her small role). Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) is still a smarmy con man, despite potentially winning the heart of the possessed Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver). And Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) barely gets a moment to show anything at all.
Nobody grows. Nobody changes. Nobody cares, really, because it’s all so loud and entertaining and filled with gorgeous practical effects and a montage heavy way of telling a very simple story.
Rick Moranis is firing on all gears here and so is William Atherton, who is the absolute king of all movie jerks. Just look at that list of actors — nobody here is slacking at all. This is top of the game casting and that’s what helps make this movie great. Hell, it even has Joe Franklin in it!
So here are a few facts you may not know, as everyone knows the plot:
The demonic voice of Dana/Zuul? That’s director Ivan Reitman.
Gozer was originally going to be played by Paul Ruebens.
For some reason, the video for Ray Parker Jr.’s theme features a bunch of celebrities that have absolutely nothing to do with this movie, including Chevy Chase, Irene Cara, John Candy, Melissa Gilbert, Jeffrey Tambor, George Wendt, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon, Teri Garr and Peter Falk.
Aykroyd originally foresaw the movie as a future story where Ghostbusters were as common as firefighters. The script, called Ghost Smashers, would have cost around $300 million in today’s money to make.
A more ferocious version of the Librarian Puppet was rejected, but it later turned up as Amy Peterson’s vampiric form in Fright Night.
Amazingly, this movie and Gremlins came out on the same day. Needless to say, 1984 was an amazing year for blockbusters.
There’s a deleted scene that has Murray show up as Carl Spackler from Caddyshack.
I never realized it, but Louis becomes the Keymaster after being locked out three different times in the film.
So there you go. If you haven’t seen this, honestly, what are you even doing reading a movie site?